I just finished reading a brand new novel, Bearskin¸ by first time novelist Jamie Robyn Wood. I eagerly gulped down the words until I set the book down in satisfaction, having read the final page.
It is a wonderful book that adults and youth alike will love, and I felt it very appropriate for young adults. The main characters are teenagers and very young adults, and the book has no cursing or sexuality. There is violence and use of magic, but it is not graphic or overly scary.
The book is inspired by the Brothers’ Grimm tale, also entitled Bearskin, but other than the title and a green man who makes a deal, there is little comparison.
Bearskin is told from the perspectives of three characters: Moiria, Heppson, and Heart. There are other main characters in the story as well, and everyone’s paths are intertwined either by blood, romance, stewardship, or even evil plots to rule a kingdom.
Other than some spelling errors, and confusion on whether an ant is a he or a she, the book is masterfully written. I was worried that the backstories, magic spells, and evil plans would have holes in them, but everything was filled in expertly.
Each main character in Bearskin has distinct characteristics, and goes on a journey, whether physically or emotionally, or both. They all have weaknesses that readers can relate to, such as hotheadedness or justification of wrongdoing, but also qualities that bring them great strength when they, or others, need them.
The story is beautifully and seamlessly told. You can feel yourself take the journey with each character, and though there is tragedy and heartache woven throughout, the book ends with all being as it should be.
From this wonderful book, you will learn the great power of sacrifice, selflessness, courage and true love. You will have compassion for all of the characters, even those with evil within. And there is a lot of evil. Its force is strong, but love is stronger.
I love fantasy books, and Bearskin really is an easy, but deep and enjoyable read. I definitely recommend it for youth and adults alike. You can buy it here.
I hope this book is made into a movie too. It is really that good.
About the book:
When Conrad, Moiria, and Heppson’s evil enchantress mother tries to convince them to follow her dark ways, they must each decide where the line lies between good and evil, magic and mythology. Based on a lesser-known fairy tale, this young adult book features an impossible romance, an intricate plot, and twists you won’t see coming.
About the author:
Jamie Robyn Wood is a full-time wife and mother and a part-time fantasy writer and essayist. Jamie never imagined the wind could blow so hard and so cold until she moved to the Midwest. Now she prefers to hunker inside the house with a cup of hot chocolate and a story to write. Bearskin is her first novel. She, her husband, their five children, and their “pet” squirrels currently reside in Coralville, Iowa.
*I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.